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Alibaba has plans to expand its e-connection with India

world Updated: Sep 04, 2016 21:29 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Alibaba's chairman Jack Ma (left) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pick up lobsters during their meeting at Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Saturday.(AP)

Besides about 300 Indians who live and work here and three Indian restaurants, this eastern Chinese city famous for its tea and the West Lake has an e-connection with India – China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba which is rapidly expanding its virtual footprint in the Indian market is headquartered here.

Besides investing in Paytm, an e-payment platform in India, the company plans to invest in two logistic companies specialising in deliveries for online retail companies.

The company has been highlighted by the local media as one of the great success stories of Chinese entrepreneurship to have emerged from Hangzhou, which is hosting the G20 summit.

“In the first quarter this year, Paytm has become the fourth largest “wallet” worldwide. It is a third-party payment company in India invested by Ant Financial, which is the sister company of e-commerce giant Alibaba. The number of users of Paytm has been 135 million, 5 times last year when the Ant Financial began its strategic cooperation with it,” state-run China Radio International (CRI) said in a report.

Alipay, which is Alibaba’s third-party payment application, has over 450 million registered users.

Yang Xinyun from the international business department of Ant Financial, told CRI: “Paytm has provided Indian users various services including money transfer, tuition payment, utility fees payment and offline payments in places such as gas stations, beverage shops and coffee shops.”

According to Yang, Paytm has been able to bring financial services to Indian users whom traditional financial institutions were unable to reach.

“With the smart phone and the internet costs lowering, the inclusive finance has already been equipped with the hardware needed. What we need to do is just to enrich and develop the condition to put it into use, concerning not only the payment but also the financial services,” Yang added.

Besides the investment, Alipay’s experience in the e-payment market over the years will enrich the Indian company’s functioning, Yang said.

“We will give them the experience of more than 10 years of Alipay’s development. Many obstacles will appear during the development of a production, and sharing with them our past problems will shorten their development cycle to some extent,” Yang told CRI.